Hiring a concrete professional should be a process that produces a finished project you’ll enjoy for decades to come. These simple tips are a guide to prepare yourself with the information you should know, the questions you should ask, along with some do’s and don’ts during the process. Being prepared will make a difference in how smoothly your project gets installed.
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1. Learn all you can from books, magazines, and online sources about the design, color, texture and form related to the type of concrete services you’ll be contracting.
2. Compile a list of all the contractors and pre-casters in your area who might make a good fit for your project. Call or email them with a few basic details about your project and pay attention to their response times. How long it takes prospective contractor to respond to your sales inquiry can be a good indication of their general responsiveness.
3. Get written estimates that include a thorough description of the project along with a timeline. Make sure that the contractor has included sample preparation in the estimate. This is not always included but is well worth the extra investment to insure that you and your contractor have the same understanding of what the final appearance will be.
4. Read through all the details of each estimate. You’ll find topics addressed by one bidder that another might not have so don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and ask the bidders to clarify any “gray” areas. Your goal it to be able to compare “apples to apples” .
5. Start checking references once you’ve narrowed the list to a few contenders at the Better Business Bureau, and any online reviews. Verify that the bidders are insured for the type of work your requesting and that they hold all the proper licensing required my your local governments.
6. Sign a written contract that clearly spells out the payment terms, completion schedule and all the important project details. Ideally the contract should directly reference the estimate they submitted.
7. Approve samples. Keep in mind that concrete is a handcrafted material made of natural aggregates…there will be variations. We recommend that you have several samples provided in order to give a range of what to expect.
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